Friday, 21 October 2016

Recent recoveries

A number of Barn Owl recoveries have come in recently. Two were unfortunate birds which were found dead or injured. One was found in Tithby near Cropwell Bishop in September, after having been ringed at the nest near Brock Hill in Leicestershire in June. The other was found with a broken pelvis at Rufford park in October, having been ringed nearby in Eakring in August.

Another bird ringed by us has been recovered by another group. Ringed as a 3 (a bird of the year) in Halam in August 2014, it was controlled 90km away in Warwickshire in June this year.

Several birds have also been controlled by us. A bird was caught in Flintham in July, having been ringed by another ringer in East Bridgford in June 2014. Jim also controlled one of his own birds from his Lincolnshire project with Adrian Blackburn - it was originally ringed in Spilsby in 2014 and was controlled in August in Kirklington.

And finally, the headline bird was one ringed in Scredington, Lincs that we controlled in Eaton, Leics in October. This bird had originally been ringed as a chick ten years ago, in June 2006.

A Tawny Owl recovery has come in too - a bird ringed in Girton in May 2015 was found dead on the road in the next village, North Scarle, in September this year.

In non-owl news, we have had a few decent recoveries, all related to birds found or ringed at Attenborough Nature Reserve.

A Sand Martin, controlled at the Attenborough colony in July this year, had originally been ringed in the large nature reserve of Etang de la Horre, in the Champagne region of France in the August of 2015. Coincidentally, 4 days previous to this bird being ringed, the French ringers controlled another Sand Martin at the same site, which had originally been ringed at Attenborough 2 months previously. It seems we're swapping Sand Martins...

A Common Tern ringed on the reserve as a chick in July 2013 was controlled by ringers at Seal Sands, Teesmouth in August this year.

And finally a Sedge Warbler, caught on a CES session back in May 2012, which was found with a Spanish ring, had originally been ringed in Northern Spain, at a site near Vitoria, Basque country in August 2011.


Late Barn Owls

The season has been pretty good in the Vale of Belvoir this year. This brood of six was ringed on 26 September. Not only is this reasonably late, but it is late for such a big brood.


Sunday, 9 October 2016

Ramsdale Park Golf Centre, Sunday 9 October

Sue, Duncan and I made a visit to the golf club today and put up the usual 8 x 18m nets with mixed warbler and Redwing song on two MP3 players. The weather was clear and calm and we started catching quite well but as the sun got higher the catches dropped.

We finished on 38 birds including 4 retraps. The species totals were (new/recapture): Blackcap 1/0, Chiffchaff 4/0, Goldcrest 1/0, Wren 3/0, Dunnock 1/0, Robin 1/0, Blue Tit 1/2, Greenfinch 1/0, Bullfinch 4/1, Goldfinch 1/0, Pied Wagtail 1/0, Redwing 12/0, Blackbird 3/1.

The Pied Wagtail was a surprise, it hit the top shelf, when being chased by another bird, just above our heads as we were doing a net round. There were plenty of Redwing about but despite Yellow-browed Warblers being everywhere in the country at the moment none seemed to be at the golf club (but we did try playing a recording just in case). At the end of the session we removed all the poles and guys from the site.


 Pied Wagtail (S. Lakeman)

Gibraltar Point Bird Observatory, Friday 7 October

Kev, Duncan and I made the annual trip to Gibraltar Point Bird Observatory on Friday. We arrived at Gib at 06:45, just as dawn was breaking, perfect! After a quick coffee in the car park we made our way to the Observatory building to be met by George Gregory, the ringer in charge, appearing from behind the sand dunes. He had kindly arrived earlier and had opened all 23 nets, thanks George!

A quick briefing then a net round and then steady ringing till around lunch time when it slowed down. Following the previous few days of easterly winds and near perfect conditions on the day (after a brief shower) I guess we were expecting a busier day with a bit more variety, but a total of 105 new birds and 24 retraps left us happy.

The highlights of the day were a Ring Ouzel and a female Sparrowhawk which Duncan managed to get to before it escaped from the net. We also had a German ringed Robin which created a comedy sketch you just couldn't write!

Mick P

Monday, 3 October 2016

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 2 October

Tom, Gary and I made a visit to the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont today, with a view to removing all the poles and guys from the site at the end of the session. The weather conditions were calm but bright and the catch was steady throughout the morning.We had three mp3 players on the go using mostly mixed warbler calls. 
In total we ended with a catch of 41 including 10 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Kingfisher 1/0, Wren 1/2, Dunnock 3/0, Blackbird 0/1, Robin 1/2, Blackcap 3/0, Chiffchaff 6/0, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Reed Warbler 3/0, Cetti’s Warbler 1/1, Blue Tit 1/0, Great Tit 1/1, Goldcrest 4/0, Long-tailed Tit 0/3, Bullfinch 2/0, Reed Bunting 3/0. 
The oldest retrap was a Cetti's Warbler from 2015. I was a little surprised to catch the Sedge Warbler and Reed Warblers.
 Kingfisher (T. Shields)

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Holme Pierrepont, Wednesday 21 September

Duncan and I made a visit to the Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont today, setting just a few of the usual nets, with a view to removing all the poles and guys from the site at the end of the session if the catch was not exceptional.

The weather conditions were near perfect and catching started steadily but dropped of quite early despite two mp3 players trying to tempt them in. In total we ended with a catch of 44 including 5 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Dunnock 2/1, Robin 5/1, Blackcap 10/0, Chiffchaff 12/1, Reed Warbler 2/0, Blue Tit 1/0, Great Tit 2/0, Goldcrest 2/0, Long-tailed Tit 0/2, Goldfinch 1/0, Reed Bunting 2/0.

The oldest retrap was a Long-tailed Tit from 2014. The only surprise was catching a couple of Reed Warblers as we did not get any at this site 10 days ago. Other than Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, the warblers seem to have gone and Blackcaps are in much reduced numbers since the last visit. However Robin and Goldcrest were around in increased numbers, winter must be on its way!


Monday, 12 September 2016

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 11 September

Sue, Duncan, Gary and I made a visit to the Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont setting all the usual nets. The weather conditions were still but clear and this was reflected in the catch, which started very well but dropped off quickly as the sun got higher.

In total we ended with a catch of 73 including 15 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Song Thrush 1/0, Wren 3/1, Dunnock 1/0, Robin 1/1, Blackcap 28/4, Chiffchaff 11/2, Whitethroat 3/0, Lesser Whitethroat 2/0, Blue Tit 1/0, Great Tit 0/1, Tree Creeper 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 3/6, Bullfinch 1/0, Goldfinch 1/0, Reed Bunting 1/0.

The oldest retrap was a Blackcap from 2013, we had not previously caught this bird since ringing and it was the only adult warbler caught. The catch of warblers was very similar to that made at Ramsdale during the week.


Thursday, 8 September 2016

Ramsdale Park, Wednesday 7 September

Mick P and I made a visit to Ramsdale setting the usual line of 8x18m nets. The conditions were perfect for mist netting and the nets soon started to fill with birds, catching continued steadily throughout the morning.

In total we ended with a catch of 87 including 6 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 5/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Wren 4/0, Dunnock 3/0, Robin 3/1, Blackcap 30/4, Garden Warbler 1/0, Chiffchaff 10/0, Whitethroat 3/0, Blue Tit 8/0, Great Tit 2/0, Coal Tit 0/1, Long-tailed Tit 2/0, Bullfinch 6/0, Chaffinch 1/0, Linnet 2/0.

The retraps were all recently ringed birds. So the Willow Warblers seem to have gone and other than Blackcap and Chiffchaff, most of the other warblers seem to have moved on as well. The urge to head in a southerly direction was also shown by the small parties of Swallows that passed overhead on and off throughout the morning. Strangely a Tawny Owl was heard calling in the distance on and off throughout the morning.


Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Recent Recoveries

Two Attenborough-born Common Terns have been resighted by the same observer at Cropston Reservoir in Leicestershire. The first was seen on 17 July and had originally been ringed in June 2001. The second was seen a few weeks later on 4 August, having originally been ringed in July 2013. This site is one of the first large waterbodies directly south of ANR so would be the ideal first stop on the birds' journey south to Africa.

A Cormorant ringed at Attenborough this April, has been resighted at Ogston reservoir on the 14 August.

Another Mute Swan has been controlled by Sorby Breck ringing group at one of their sites near Ilkeston. This one had been ringed in Cossall in 2010, and was recaptured in June this year.

A Tawny Owl ringed as an adult in Owthrope in April 2014 has was found dead on the roads in nearby Cotgrave on the 1 August.

A Greenfinch caught at the farmland feeding site at Sutton Bonington in December last year was caught by a cat nearby in the village on the 4 July.

A Lesser Redpoll, ringed at Bestwood in October last year has been controlled by ringers near Fleetwood, Lancashire, in May this year.


Monday, 29 August 2016

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 28 August

Gary, Duncan, Sue, Tom and I ran another ringing session at the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont. It had been difficult picking the best day to go as the forecast had been changing by the hour in the preceding days but based on the day that suited most people and with fingers crossed for the weather we went for Sunday.

As it turned out the weather was perfect for netting, at least to start, with overcast skies and no wind. We set 10 nets in the usual places and extracted 35 birds on the way back to the base after putting up the last couple of nets! Catching remained brisk but we always had a wary eye on the, mostly, very dark skies. At around 1100 we did have a few spots of rain and with the breeze picking up a little we opted not to ride our luck any further and took down.

We ended with an excellent catch of 124 including 17 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 1/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Wren 0/2, Dunnock 2/1, Robin 8/1, Blackcap 30/1, Garden Warbler 1/0, Whitethroat 6/0, Lesser Whitethroat 2/0, Chiffchaff 22/4, Willow Warbler 2/0, Reed Warbler 13/0, Blue Tit 2/2, Great Tit 3/0, Long-tailed Tit 2/6, Bullfinch 1/0, Goldfinch 6/0, Reed Bunting 5/0. The oldest retrap was a Long-tailed Tit from 2012.

A little busy to see much overhead but Tom did spot a Bittern taking off from one of the reed beds.


 adult Whitethroat (S. Lakeman)

Friday, 26 August 2016

Ramsdale Park, Tuesday 23 August

Duncan and I made another visit to Ramsdale, setting the usual line of 8x18m nets. The forecast was for a cloudy start but then sun and getting very hot. The cloud never appeared so we had clear skies from the start but thankfully very little wind. As the sun got higher it certainly got hotter and despite the catching rate starting well it died off quickly as the temperature climbed.

In total we ended with a catch of 45 including 3 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 4/0, Wren 2/0, Dunnock 2/0, Robin 2/0, Blackcap 7/1, Garden Warbler 1/0, Chiffchaff 5/1, Willow Warbler 5/0, Whitethroat 4/1, Blue Tit 1/0, Great Tit 4/0, Bullfinch 5/0. The retraps were all recently ringed birds.

No surprises but still a high ratio of adults to juveniles being caught, including 4 of the 5 Willow Warblers! A Spotted Flycatcher decided to use the top of the trees at the lower end of the net line to catch flies from, great to see but a pity it didn’t drop a little lower.


Monday, 22 August 2016

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 21 August

Gary, Duncan, Sue and I held a ringing session at the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont today. We were also joined by Pete Leonard, it was good to do some ringing with him again. The forecast had again predicted strong winds and after Saturday’s battering I was not very optimistic about getting a decent catch. However, this time the forecast was wrong but in our favour, it was a little breezy to start and it did increase as the morning progressed but it was not as strong as forecast and with mostly overcast skies we did pretty well.

We ended with a catch of 81 including just 2 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 2/1, Wren 1/1, Robin 2/0, Blackcap 16/0, Garden Warbler 5/0, Whitethroat 9/0, Lesser Whitethroat 4/0, Chiffchaff 9/0, Willow Warbler 5/0, Reed Warbler 11/0, Blue Tit 4/0, Great Tit 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 6/0, Bullfinch 3/0, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Blackbird from 2010 that we had not previously recaptured.

Three Swifts passed overhead and a quite a few hirundines. A couple of Oystercatchers and a Greenshank flew over and the Goldfinch flock visiting the thistle patches numbered well over 100 at times.


This Speckled Wood was one of very few butterflies that battled to get going in the cool conditions. (Sue Lakeman)

Monday, 15 August 2016

Ramsdale Park, Sunday 14 August

Jim, Sue, Duncan, Amelia and I made another visit to Ramsdale setting the usual line of 8x18m nets plus an extra 6x12m nets. Conditions were perfect, no wind and overcast overcast skies for all the session. Catching was steady all morning because of the conditions and we had a couple of surprise first captures at the site: a Reed Warbler and a Jay.

In total we ended with a catch of 101 including 5 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 4/1, Wren 2/0, Robin 11/0, Reed Warbler 1/0, Blackcap 18/1, Garden Warbler 2/0, Chiffchaff 15/1, Willow Warbler 17/0, Whitethroat 11/1, Lesser Whitethroat 2/0, Blue Tit 3/0, Treecreeper 1/0, Bullfinch 5/0, Linnet 3/1, Jay 1/0.

The oldest retraps were last years birds, including a returning Chiffchaff. A good catch in perfect conditions but last year on the 11 August in not quite as good conditions Jim and I had a catch of 151 with just the 8x18m nets up!


 Photos by Amelia Reddish

Holme Pierrepont, Friday 12 August

Jim, Gary, Duncan and I held a weather affected ringing session at the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont today. The forecast had predicted strong winds and despite starting relatively calm the wind soon picked up and with full sun this prompted an early finish. No doubt the catch was reduced by the conditions but the site seemed very quiet and Reed Warblers were in very low numbers in the reed bed. We ended with a catch of 41 including 6 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 1/0, Dunnock 1/0, Wren 4/0, Robin 2/2, Blackcap 7/0, Garden Warbler 3/0, Chiffchaff 2/0, Reed Warbler 8/0, Blue Tit 6/0, Great Tit 0/1, Long-tailed Tit 0/2, Bullfinch 1/1. The oldest retraps were from 2014.


Holme Pierrepont, Friday 5 August

Gary and I made another visit to the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont. We limited the nets again with just the two of us but in fine and bright conditions we were satisfied with a catch of 63 birds plus a brood of 5 Goldfinch chicks - they had nested in one of the net rides.

The catch included only 4 retraps, the birds seem to be moving through the site quickly. The catch was made up of (new/retrap): Green Woodpecker 1/0, Dunnock 1/1, Wren 2/1, Robin 1/0, Blackcap 6/1, Whitethroat 5/1, Lesser Whitethroat 3/0, Garden Warbler 2/0, Chiffchaff 2/0, Willow Warbler 4/0, Reed Warbler 20/0, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Blue Tit 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 3/0, Goldfinch 5 (plus 5 pulli)/0, Reed Bunting 2/0. The retraps were all recently ringed birds.